Legislators from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently traveled to the Pittsburgh region for a three-day visit focused on infrastructure and transportation, including a stop at Pittsburgh International Airport to learn about projects and economic initiatives underway on the airport campus.
Joined by airport CEO Christina Cassotis and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, the group saw the airport’s first-of-its-kind microgrid—including its nearly 10,000 solar panels—that produces 100 percent of PIT’s electricity, as well as the industry-leading Neighborhood 91 development devoted to advanced manufacturing, all from the comfort of a bus on a snowy day.
“The vision of the CEO and all the support from the county executive is going to have Pittsburgh at the helm of connecting the entire Midwest to the mid-Atlantic,” said House Democratic Leader Rep. Joanna McClinton, who represents portions of Delaware and Philadelphia Counties.
The House Democratic Policy Committee is comprised of Democratic lawmakers from across Pennsylvania. Chaired by State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro of Erie, the committee holds public hearings and meetings across the state to better understand the local impact of policy priorities. The committee also influences major policy initiatives put forth by members of the House Democratic Caucus.
During the roundtable discussion and tour of the airport campus, members, airport staff and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald discussed the impact of the Terminal Modernization Program (TMP) on the local economy by expanding access to opportunity through “unbundling” large contracts into smaller ones in an effort to give smaller companies a chance to win TMP bids.
The group also discussed the importance of infrastructure spending, learning that 80 percent of all work for the new terminal and multi-modal complex will be completed by businesses based in the Pittsburgh region.
During a tour of the airport campus, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald highlighted the Terminal Modernization Program and its impact on the local economy. (Submitted photo)
“I am excited that my colleagues were able to tour the airport to see this important asset,” said Rep. Nick Pisciottano, whose district includes Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin, Pa. “It’s events like these that give us an opportunity to showcase how well-positioned we are to lead in Pennsylvania.”
Bizzarro, whose district includes Erie International Airport, noted that “this was an eye-opening tour for me—I’ll be bringing these perspectives back to Erie and Harrisburg to ensure our airways are open for commerce.”
Previous stops on the legislators’ tour included the county’s Port Authority and light rail stations, the Fern Hollow Bridge, and the Frick Museum, site of a formal hearing focused on bridges and roads in the region, with Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, Councilman Corey O’Connor, PennDOT, the Port Authority, transportation technology leaders, capital project managers and impacted residents.
“We are happy to host the committee and continue our message of innovation and transformational projects,” said Vince Gastgeb, PIT’s Senior Vice President of Government and Corporate Affairs. “Meeting at Neighborhood 91 is a perfect site as advanced manufacturing for our region represents a growing sector specific to Pennsylvania’s new economy with good-paying jobs. Our relationship with the commonwealth has resulted in a growing partnership in support of our initiatives.”
The delegation discussed the importance of infrastructure spending where 80 percent of all work for the new terminal will be completed by Pittsburgh-based companies. (Submitted photo)